APPLYING FOR AN IEC VISA
Is it just me or has applying to this years IEC visa been a process that everyone can’t wait to forget. Last years visa was all done via post, whereas this years visa was all done online. I can understand that teething problems are to be expected but my goodness, just let me stay in the country already!
For those of you who got it done easily enough, please share with the rest of us who were ripping our now non-existent hair out, as to how you did it. I will find out in less than 2 weeks if my second Canadian visa got excepted. In the mean time I would like to share with you my IEC visa story!!
** UPDATE **
My Visa was fully approved today. The day after writing this post. Ironic. YAY!
FIRST STAGE – APPLY THROUGH IEC
I was working at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario and heard about how the number of visas were being issued on three different days and when they were all gone, they were gone for good. By the time I found this out I only had one chance remaining to apply for mine, which if I remember correctly was the 7th March 2013. Everyone was uncertain what time the last batch of visas would be available but luckily I had the day off work. Here’s a break down of how it went.
- 7.00am gmt – The final round of visas went live.
- The IEC visa website was so slow. I had 3 browsers open and kept having to refresh them.
- My friend Stuart was applying online at the same time so we were updating each other on our progress.
- After filling in my previous work history (I have a lot) I finally got my application submitted at around 7.25am.
- By 7.28am gmt all the remaining visas were gone! (5,300 visa were available altogether)
BEST ADVICE – Save all the required documents (pic of passport, resume, 3 references) in one folder on your laptop for easy access. NB* You do not need your police certificate for this stage.
SECOND STAGE – AWAIT QUOTA AVAILABILITY
After being given a WTN number Stuart and I soon realised that that didn’t mean we had even got through the first stage. We had actually been put on a waiting list and received this message from the IEC
“This letter confirms that the International Experience Canada (IEC) unit in London, UK, has received your application to participate in the IEC initiative for 2013 on 2013-03-08.
We have created a unique World Tracking Number (WTN) for your application: LDN-GB-**-***-******. Details on the WTN and how it relates to your application can be found here.
The volume of applications that we have received exceeds the quota. Once we have verified that the quota for UK remains unfilled, instructions on how to make a payment toward the IEC Program Participation Fee will be sent to your IEC-Kompass account. Please do not submit a payment before the instructions are sent to you.
Thank you for your interest in participating in the IEC initiative. “
I was now in the unknown limbo known as awaiting quota availability. And wait is exactly what I did!
THIRD STAGE – PROOF OF PAYMENT
After waiting for over a good three months, in which time I convinced myself I had no chance of staying in Canada and began planning what I would do next, I finally got a message from the IEC stating that quota availability had been verified, so basically I was back in the game. By this stage I was living in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta WWOOFing on an animal sanctuary. This is the message I received.
Subject: 02a: Quota availability verified – Please submit payment and proof of payment.
Dear Mr./Ms. Anyika,
We are pleased to inform you that the quota for the number of participants from UK has not been filled. Before we can assess your eligibility to participate in the IEC initiative, you must submit the full payment of 100 GBP, as well as proof of payment, by 2013-06-21. Failure to submit payment and proof of payment by that deadline will automatically result in your application being refused, for non-payment. Failure to submit the correct amount will also automatically result in your application being refused, for incorrect payment. The payment towards the Program Participation Fee must be made through an Electronic Funds Transfer to the High Commission of Canada in London using the following information:
– Name of account: Canadian High Commission
– Name of financial institution: Barclays Bank Plc
– Address: Piccadilly Corporate Centre, Pall Mall Street, London
– Account number: 508*****
– Sort code number: **-**-**
– SWIFT Bank Identifier Code (BIC): BARC****
– IBAN (International Bank Account Number): GB79 BARC 2067 **** **** **
– Payment purpose/Payment reference number: LDN-GB-**-***-****** Note: Note: Your WTN reference must be shortened to only contain the initials GB and the end number. For example, if your WTN is LDN-GB-13-WHP-001234 it must read GB-1234. After you make your payment, upload a copy of the corresponding payment receipt to your IEC-Kompass account: this is your proof of payment. Your proof of payment must show the following information:
Name of account holder
– Name of financial institution
– Account number of funds recipient
– Amount paid
– Date on which the payment was made
– Reference number for the payment
– Payment purpose/Payment reference number: LDN-GB-13-WHP-******
No other currencies or other form of payment will be accepted. As the applicant, you are responsible for all bank charges. Additional details on the IEC Program Participation Fee, including the refund policy, can be found here. Thank you for your interest in participating in the IEC initiative.
I was absolutely ecstatic! I got on the phone to HSBC, which proved infuriating as the phone signal was horrendous in my neck of the woods. I wanted to find out how to get a reference number of payment.
BEST ADVICE – Save yourself the cost of an international call, as it turns out you don’t need a reference number. A simple screen shot of your receipt of payment via internet banking is proof enough.
FOURTH STAGE – PAYMENT VERIFIED
I was actually starting to learn the art of patience and I guess I have the IEC visa to thank for that. After another month of waiting, I received another message stating that my proof of payment had been verified. WOOP WOOP. By now I was really starting to think that I was Canada bound for one more year. Here’s the message I rtecieved from the IEC.
“Subject: Proof of payment verified.
Dear Mr./Ms. Anyika,
This letter is to inform you that the International Experience Canada (IEC) unit in London, UK, has verified the proof of payment that was submitted for your application (LDN-GB-13-WHP-007360) to participate in the IEC initiative. Please note that the application process for the IEC initiative involves two stages. Both stages must be successfully completed before you travel to Canada and begin your participation: Stage
1: IEC Initiative Assessment (administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada): To determine whether you meet the program eligibility criteria, and
Stage 2: Immigration Assessment (administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)): To determine your eligibility for a work permit and admissibility to Canada.
If you meet the program eligibility criteria (i.e. you are successful in Stage 1 of the application process), you will receive an IEC Conditional Acceptance Letter in your IEC-Kompass account. The IEC Conditional Acceptance Letter will include information on Stage 2 of the application process.
If you do not meet the program eligibility criteria, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons for refusal and whether you are eligible to receive a refund of the IEC Program Participation Fee. You will receive a decision for Stage 1 via your IEC-Kompass account. Therefore, we recommend that you regularly check for new messages under “My Messages” in your IEC-Kompass account.
International Experience Canada”
STAGE FIVE – CONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE
This message sent shivers down my spine, minus the conditional bit of course. I received an acceptance letter a few days after going to Calgary Stampede, which made me want to stay in Canada even more. Here’s the message.
“Subject: Conditional acceptance into the International Experience Canada initiative.
Dear Mr./Ms. Anyika
We are pleased to inform you that you meet the eligibility requirements of the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative for citizens of UK. This conditional acceptance is valid until 2014-01-13. This letter alone does not allow you to enter Canada.
You must now begin Stage 2 of the application process: Immigration Assessment, to determine your eligibility for a work permit and admissibility to Canada. Stage 2 must be successfully completed before you travel to Canada and begin your participation. You will need the electronic copy of this IEC conditional acceptance letter available when completing Stage 2 of the application process. You must complete Stage 2 before the expiry date of this conditional acceptance letter.
To begin Stage 2, please visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and complete the “Come to Canada” questions. This will enable you to create your own MyCIC account, which is required to initiate your work permit application. Please note that Stage 2 is administered by CIC. If your application for a work permit is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction from CIC, which you need to carry with you when travelling to Canada.
If your application for a work permit is refused, you will receive a letter from CIC providing the reason(s). We strongly recommend that you do not book or pay for any travel to Canada, buy comprehensive health care insurance for your stay in Canada or make any commitments to employers, landlords, or roommates, before you receive your Letter of Introduction from CIC. When you initiate your work permit application with CIC, you will be assigned a work permit file number.
Please submit this number to your IEC-Kompass account. To do so, log on to your IEC-Kompass account and complete the CIC File Number form, which is available under the “My Profile” section. Failure to submit the CIC File Number to IEC-Kompass may result in a delay in processing your IEC application. Additional details regarding the IEC application process can be found here. Thank you for your interest in participating in the IEC initiative.
International Experience Canada”
This is the stage that I recently completed. It took a lot longer than it should have because parts of the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) decided to go on strike. Fair enough really. I wouldn’t like to know how much abuse they get from stressed out people like me. Getting through to them was harder than trying to book Beyonce’s hairstylist at last minutes notice.
I needed to contact the CIC because I was having problems with their online application system. Every time I called and got the automated ladies/devils voice I would press number 0, which was supposed to lead me to an actual real person, but instead she would state in her devilish way ‘this service is currently unavailable’. All the other options required me to have a code, which I didn’t know yet. I ended up going down any avenue to speak to anyone and typed in a made up code, which was 666-666-66. I got through to someone who helped me.
BEST ADVICE – The best way to get through to a human being at the CIC is calling the following number 1-888-242‑2100, first thing in the morning (8am).
STAGE SIX – SET UP CIC ACCOUNT
After successfully completing the Come to Canada Wizard (http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/cometocanada.asp), which works out through a series of questions whether you are eligible to come to Canada, you will be given a code which will allow you to begin setting up your CIC account (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index-can.asp).
There is no special section for applying for an IEC visa, so save yourself the hassle and don’t look. Instead go down the route of applying for a work permit because after all, that is the only thing you need from the CIC.
After setting up an account, you will be prompted to upload the following documents, which are all best to complete on the computer and validate, as opposed to printing off, filling out, then scanning onto your computer. Less mistakes, less time.
Documents to Upload
- Application for work permit – Looks like this http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM1294E.pdf
- Family Form – Looks something like this http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5645E.PDF
- Picture of passport
- Digital photo of yourself (must meet visa requirements – mine cost $22)
- Proof of conditional offer from IEC
- Police Certificate
STAGE SEVEN – AKA FINAL STAGE (I hope?)
This is where I’m at right now. I moved into a new lovely house today, which I would like to stay in if Canada doesn’t decide to kick me out of the country. I was told by the CIC that it can take up to 28 days to hear back, so I’ve got 13 days of waiting left. Wish me luck.
For more help and funny stressful moments, below are mine and Stuart’s Facebook conversations about applying for the IEC. I hope I edited all the swear words but if not, you’ll live. If you’re applying for your visa good luck and keep the faith. lol
Conversations with Stuart
STUART got a message from IEC saying quota availability verified. Send proof of payment! SOOO HAPPY! check yours. If it hasn’t come Im sure its on its way!
Awww congrats. I have nothing yet but having second thoughts anyway! Can’t decide if ill have had enough by Xmas after the states and will want to go home! We will see if I get an email
Holy sh*t! I just got an email saying ‘quota availability , please submit payment’. What’s hound I do with my life ahhhhhhhhhhhh
hahahah!! FOOOK!! STAY!! We can get a flat together with mwelwa in Toronto because I know you love it there. lol
Ok need your help ASAP! I got a letter from iec saying yes to a visa in principle and to move to stage two! So I go to the cic website as directed and fill in the questionnaire ‘come to canada’. I filled it in and said that I didn’t fit the criteria!!!!! However I’d I answer yes to this question (see at end) then I can set up an cic account!!! What did you answer for this question????
Have you been told by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office that you are approved in principle for permanent residence in Canada?
WHOAH WHOAH WHOAH. I didn’t even look at it properly. F*K. I haven’t answered that question. Who the hell would speak to the CIC office. WTF!!!!!!!!!!
Sh*t, I’m at a loss! This is boll*cks haha! I’m only stumped as it says permanent resident, were only app,ting for work visas!
Nothing is simple in this country. I’m sat with Sanam and Mwelwa, they say hi!
Haha I know! Say hi back for me x
So have you paid $100 to iec and $150 cic?
Nope. Just the $100 to the iec. More money to pay Fo*k me!
I’m getting stressed, I tried calling the cic is morning re all the new forms to fill in and got 10 mins of auto voice then then hung up! Bull crap!
Hey Stu. Any luck on your visa?
Nah, I’m stumped. Sooooo confused!
I tried calling the cic about 20 times today. Made my cic account thing but think I did it wrong because I said I didn’t have a client Id number.
I tried calling too……no success!
ME TOO! I think I’m guna go down to their offices and see what the f*ck they get paid for! lol
Tell them I want a visa too haha
Will do!!! OR ELSE!!! So guna get kicked out of this country!
Haha I just found an Irish lad at work who has already been through all this sh*t!! Boom!! He is going to help me out this week!!! Ill feed you information……
Thanks babe. Give me the luck of the irish all day. lol
Yo Stu. You spoke to your Irish fella yet?
Haha this is a joke…..I’ve got to call the cic. Long story. He was useless………pffffft!
Typical!! lol. When you call them, it FINALLY gives you the option to talk to a consultant or summat, then you press the number and nothing f*cking happens.
I heard that parts of the cic have gone on strike… Would explain a lot!!
I finally got through to cic! So………
When you go through the come to canada questions on the website, you answer ‘England’ or UK for current country of residence!!!!!!!!! On the actual forms later though, you MUST put canada for current residence! its only because the initial stage has a glitch in the system, they told me putting uk was ok.
From then on, the rest will look familiar when you actually get to the documents upload part! We gotta get facking police check, need proof of address and shot, got to be sent to England haha!!!
HOLY F*CK…EFFORT! Ok. I got my police certificate time ago. I didn’t wana mess about with that sh*t. are there any physical forms you need to hand in or do you just upload it all on to the internet.
And is the proof of address have to be from England or Canada? F*ck this sh*t. The first thing I’m getting if I get rich is an assistant!!
The pics of your mum and dad are sooooo cute! How long did they stay?
All uploaded to the net as far as I can see! The proof of address has to be canadian, for the police check forms. I’m not doing any more until I have my police check done!
They stayed for 5 days. Was soooo much fun!!! How’s t.dot?
Thanks Stu. Guna try and get it sorted FINALY! Loving Toronto at the mo. Got a full time job in this cool vintage shop, while I find summat media based. The weather starting to get sh*t again.
Me and Mwelwa are looking for places to live. lol.
i need help, asap!!!
the family form on the CIC, where the f*ck do you enter brothers and sisters??? If at all??
MATE I WAS DOING THIS SH*T THIS MORNING!! OMG!!!!For this one apparently you don’t need it. At the bottom of the form it says if you are applying for temporary residence in Canada and are not from one of the above countries, click here.
Are we applying for temporary residence or what!?
haha,so i aint putting in borthers and sisters!! f*ck know!! And which form are you on about now?
that form your filling in
haha i dont see that link, we ar not applying for residence anyway, were working and hol visas!
the family form. It says click here if you are applying for a temporary resident visa
should we fill in the one with brothers and sisters or the normal one.
ok i see it now haha, ERRRRRR SHIT!!!!! F*ck knows now! I think its the first one, were not applying for residency are we?
hahahha FOOK ME. Don’t think so.
This sh*t is crazy!
but we will be temporary residents soooo….
Ya know what I think i’m going to fill out the other one because i did that last time
and I am defo not from any one of those countries. lol
okokok, the IMM5645,(The second one) is the one we filled out last time! Im doing that! Adding in bros and sis!!
love that we came to the same decision. DONE!
were either both staying or both going home haha
Anyway, must go! but if im stuck again ill be in touch!
Ok, I can’t even load the other form, even with the latest adobe reader. And it won’t let me upload any of my forms. This is bullcrap
OMG!!!! I know. I went to an internet cafe, their adobe reader didn’t work. Now I am in a f*cking library and can see the forms but have only have 15 mins maximum on the bloody computer
Also with that bloody family info form how the hell can you put 2 pages on there. The first one just gets deleted. Spent too much time and money on this visa!! SWEAR DOWN!!!
Oh now I’ve got 5 mins left. The woman on the phone (YES I FINALLY GOT THROUGH TO THEM) told me it takes 28 days from submitting everything to hear back. That is cutting it close for me seeing as my visas up on 14th Oct and I need to be working!!
THIS SH*T IS DEEP. DEEPER THAN THE DEEP SIDE OF A SWIMMING POOL.
Off to work now anyway!! F THIS! Miss you Tiger Woods! x
Im so p*ssed off, i still cant open it. i literally dont know what to do now! Its all bullshit anyway, we shjouldnt have to fill in all the crap again.
Miss you too xx
You need to get to a non mac computer that is half way decent. Getting us to fill this shit in again. HELLO I’ve been here a year. I’m practically Canadian!!!!
I’m making videos about how great Canada is and these jive turkeys are trying to kick me out!! NOT ON MY (canadian) WATCH!
Spoke to them again just now. It is the brothers and sisters one we have to fill in. Don’t print it off just do it online and then it asks you to upload a signature at the end.September 5
Nice one! I’m in a shitty internet cafe! PLEASE ANSWER ME ASAP. What does UCI mean. The main application form is asking me for a UCI??????
SUBMITTED! BOOM! lolThat’s so funny that we did everything on the same day. We both better get this!
Sorry just got home, glad your all done. Didn’t put in uci as looked at my form from last year and nothing was on it!!